Recently I've had a conversation with a friend of mine and admitted that I am an agnostic.
Really!?! You Ask.
Yes, but only in the singular and truest sense. Meaning this: I CAN NOT
know what happens after I die and whether there is a god awaiting or if
there is an afterlife at all. This does not define my outlook on
religion exclusively though. After all we are all agnostics whether we
like it or not. There's always that "question" though: What happens
when we die?
If I knew that, I could make a LOT of money. I could make incremently less money claiming I knew the answer.
So what's the problem with atheism? Nothing really. It's an ideology
just like the rest of the claims of explanations of an afterlife.
I've observed that (with politics aside; ie. arguments against
Communism) and relying solely on personal experience; that other
religious doctrine does not comport with my world view. How so? Well,
with the major world religions we see that there has been nothing less
than turmoil revolving around various interpretations (largely
involving the Big 3). With hardly anything in the cards suggesting that
they may ALL be right.
This has all caused little else but hardship for humanity. Now, imagine
if (hypothetically) that throughout history everybody just threw their
hands up and claimed "they didn't know". Everbody would go about their
own way left to ponder the "question". Here's where polity comes in.
Religion is a bit different from atheism, in that throughout history,
there has been this seeming draw to religion; to want to believe that
there IS an afterlife and that everything will be okay when you die.
Has this "want" always been there? Or was it instilled...indoctrinated?
I believe it was. Religious ideology has led and instilled in people
the belief that there IS a god and that an afterlife truly exists when
in fact (as I emphasized earlier) we are truly AGNOSTIC and not knowing.
Being atheist takes my agnosticism to a different level. Claims by
theists are superficial and dangerous. I don't believe that everybody
should be an atheist (though I think it'd be nice; but that's kinda
selfish don't you think?), but this is in fact what religion and
religious ideology wants. To snuff out all other ways of thinking that
do not conform to whatever norm is "set in stone". My atheist ideology
mingles with my belief that everbody should have the opportunity (from
birth) to make up their own minds.
Is my atheism "set in stone"? Well, yes. To a degree but nothing like
religious indoctrination. If I had a child I would not enforce my
atheism upon them. I would not drill it into their heads that there is
absolutely no god and that there is absolutely no aftelife awaiting. I
would let them make up their own minds about this. If, after deciding
for themselves, my hypothetical child decided to be a Christian...so be
it. It's their choice. I will have given them the wherewithal to make
up their own minds about it. Most religious parents couldn't compete
with this freethinking ideology. Not to fault these parents
specifically, but to fault the notion that there has been a monopoly on
this kind of non-freethinking mentality.
Is this to say that people who assert that there IS a god or an
afterlife are not freethinking. I honestly think so. Mostly to do with
an ingrained supposition that there really
is a god or afterlife stemming from the root of relgious indoctrination
(that is not all-inclusive). However much I seem to rail, at times,
about the idiocy of religion, it is not targetted at those individuals
who have been hood-winked into forfeiting their skepticism. My ire lies
entirely with the con artists who have been pulling this off for
Our society has been shaped and moulded by this. Is it "right"? Hell
no! The idea that something is as is by virtue of saying it is so is
contrary to what I believe. Question. Be the skeptic. The Big 3
(Abrahamic religions) have passed down throughout the generations that
NOT to believe their ideological arguments is detrimental to the
"everlasting soul" which we can not know exists.
Am I making an argument for my ideological atheism? Sure, why not.
However, I don't espouse adhering to it. I espouse making up your own
Imagine, in the prehistory of mankind when in a particular instance
some paleolithic man (or woman) asked "What happens when we die?";
there would likely have been an equally inquisitive individual that
thought about it and said "Nothing. We die."
Is this so bad? This is the problem with atheism. I don't fear death. I
don't pretend to think that I will meet my dad when I die. It's about
hope and wanting to have the reassurance that when we die we will be
with our loved ones. I'm moving on to a different tack here, but I
think it should be addressed. Say, for instance that my mother found
herself in the afterlife; that my long dead dad was there, yet her
current love is (or eventually will be) there as well. It's complicated
isn't it? This is the heaven we've been taught?
This is the problem with atheism. People want to believe that when they
die there is "something". That their being is perpetuated beyond death.
I don't believe this. How can it be so? Why should
it be so? It's much more plausible to believe that there is nothing.
Wouldn't this notion drive individuals to really think about the here
and now rather than worrying about living there lives in a way that
precludes our betterment as a society; as a species?
It seems to me that the faithful have such great focus and intent on
believing in an afterlife that everything else really doesn't matter.
That every thing revolves around this indoctrination, this infused
ideology. That not believing is somehow tantamount to treason to the
human race. Sounds ridiculous right? I don't think I'm too off the mark
Is atheism a religion? Not in the least. Is it become religion? Not if
it stands with free inquiry. These are the guidelines by which I think
atheists should uphold. To believe not to believe and to THINK ABOUT
IT. To recognize that to be an atheist also involves being an agnostic,
almost first and foremost. This is the problem with atheism...labels.
The great Robert Green Ingersoll was described as the "Great Agnostic";
while in this day he would have been described as the "Great Atheist".
Is there really a difference? I suppose there could be. The devil is in
the details, so-to-speak, and I think we've succumbed to labeling
ourselves. Why and how?
I think that with the declining influence of the church, individuals in society have seen fit to not
identify with these antiquated ideologies and explore other ways to
descibe oneself. It's quite natural, really, to find new ways to
describe oneself. When, for thousands of years, the church had a
monopoly on this particular commodity...labelling (you were a Christian
or else). So, with the rise of secularism, we find that individuals are
become empowered to be freethinking without repurcussion (relatively).
I could go on but this piece has been in draft for weeks now.
I'll let any further discussion fall to you: my readers.